In-Depth with Ricky Jean Francois

He was a seventh round pick coming out of LSU where he won a national championship in 2007. He is, now, heading into his ninth season in the National Football League. He has played on playoff teams and been to the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers. Ricky Jean Francois has done well for himself as he has overcome obstacles as a seventh rounder and been a solid contributor for any team he has been on.

Jean Francois has generated 12 sacks in 109 games with the Niners, Indianapolis Colts, and now the Washington Redskins. His numbers may not impress the average spectator and his role during games can often be overlooked. However, this is a man that plays a position where he sacrifices his personal success for his team’s success.

The defensive end position in a 3-4 scheme is quite demanding. It can get physical in the trenches as they face blocks to the knees, double teams, and the occasional chip from a back or tight end. Jean Francois endures all of this to make sure his linebackers and safeties stay clean and deliver a hit on the ball carrier.

The Redskins barely missed the playoffs with a 8-7-1 record. It came down to a Week 17 matchup against the grossly detested New York Giants in which they lost. The Miami native touched on the team and made a sales pitch in favor of Kirk Cousins.

“I feel confident about our team this year,” said Jean Francois. On the matter of Cousins, he stated, “The man did everything you needed him to do. He’s put up the numbers, touchdowns, passing yards, franchise records, now it’s time for him to get paid.”

Jean Francois certainly knows the importance of having a good signal caller on a team. He also discussed his plans for the offseason as he went to Haiti last year with fellow Haitian teammate Pierre Garçon. They gave their island home medical supplies. Ricky is looking forward to going to Haiti again, this time, with Washington’s owner.

“I’m still doing things with Haiti going back and forth with Dan Snyder [the Redskins' owner],” Jean Francois said with optimism. “I’m going back in my community where I once was and helping my high school teams and helping little league teams.”

As someone who has played in college and now in the NFL, Jean Francois has invaluable experience and wisdom that is worth sharing. In a league where everyone is freakishly athletic and talented, he believes listening is an undervalued characteristic. Listening is the gateway to playing and playing at a high level. He gave another piece of advice as well.

“Make sure you have a strong circle or a top five circle because those top five people will be a reflection of you.”

A strong circle is certainly a reflection of a player. The best thing players can do is surround themselves with people with the same drive, dedication, and determination as them.

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